Is the Kingdom Here Now?

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Is the Kingdom Here Now?

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Shortly before His arrest, trial and crucifixion, Jesus Christ prophesied of a worldwide period of upheaval and unrest unparalleled in human history. This time would be characterized by religious deception, warfare, earthquakes, famines and disease epidemics, along with other great catastrophic events (Luke 21:7-28 Luke 21:7-28 7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? 8 And he said, Take heed that you be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draws near: go you not therefore after them. 9 But when you shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. 10 Then said he to them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: 11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. 12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. 13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony. 14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer: 15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. 16 And you shall be betrayed both by parents, and brothers, and kinfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 17 And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. 18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 19 In your patience possess you your souls. 20 And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is near. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the middle of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath on this people. 24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.
American King James Version×
). In this discourse, Christ made it plain that the Kingdom of God was not here yet.

He told His disciples that, after these events, people “will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory … When you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:27-31 Luke 21:27-31 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near. 29 And he spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 When they now shoot forth, you see and know of your own selves that summer is now near at hand. 31 So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, know you that the kingdom of God is near at hand.
American King James Version×
). Christ clearly said that the Kingdom of God will not be established on earth until after His triumphant return in power and great glory. Christ also made this plain on other occasions. How many of us have recited the Lord’s Prayer without recognizing the plain meaning of the words as we said them? These familiar words were given by Jesus Christ in response to the disciples’ request of Him to teach them how to pray. “In this manner, therefore, pray,” Jesus Christ told them. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:9-10 Matthew 6:9-10 9 After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
American King James Version×
). The most common prayer in Christendom acknowledges that God’s Kingdom is not here yet and that Christians are to fervently pray for its arrival!

Near the end of His life, while being questioned by Pilate before His crucifixion, Jesus clearly stated: “My Kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36 John 18:36Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
American King James Version×
). Pilate then demanded to know if Christ were a king. Christ replied: “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world …” (John 13:37 John 13:37Peter said to him, Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for your sake.
American King James Version×
). Hebrews 11 describes the faith of God’s servants through the millennia. Summing up their history and experiences, Hebrews 11:13-16 Hebrews 11:13-16 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from where they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: why God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he has prepared for them a city.
American King James Version×
tell us: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

Even Abraham, the father of the faithful, “waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10 Hebrews 11:10For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
American King James Version×
). Although God’s people today experience a foretaste of God’s coming Kingdom in their lives, many scriptures make it clear that the Kingdom of God has not arrived, but will be established on earth in the future.